2.26.2015

Pura d'or Hair + Body Care (Review)


Throughout the years, I have found it difficult to find hair care products that are both organic and actually do a good job of washing + conditioning my hair. With no luck, I gave up the search and continued to use the brands that I was used to. The only downside is that all of those brands contain icky chemicals and I would love to steer clear of all that if possible. Prior to receiving samples from Pura d'or, I had never even heard of the company and though I didn't really know what to expect, I was hopeful. I received sample bottles of their premium organic argan oil based hair loss prevention shampoo, premium organic argan oil based conditioner, and pure organic argan oil. I've been using the products for a week now.

According to the company, all of their products are made from organic ingredients. Their overall mission is to provide personal care products that are not only naturally beneficial, but actually work (and work well). I had to do a little research on argan oil, as I had only heard about it a couple of times and I never actually read up on it. Argan oil is a natural oil that comes from the nuts of argan trees found in Morocco. The benefits of this oil are seriously a mile long. From reducing scarring, to having anti-aging properties and hydrating hair + skin, it's no wonder this stuff is all the rage.


1. Organic argan oil based hair loss prevention shampoo. This shampoo is said to target the leading causes of hair loss and promote healthy hair. I was a bit skeptical whenever I read that this shampoo helped with hair loss. I've always been one to lose a lot of hair whenever I'm washing it, but I just thought it was because I have thick hair. I never saw it as a problem until I noticed how much less hair I was losing after the third day of using this product. I will admit that the scent threw me off at first. It didn't smell bad, but it was different than what I'm used to. Another thing that originally concerned me was the fact that it didn't lather. Unlike traditional shampoos, this product doesn't contain sulfates so I found myself using a large amount just to cover all of my hair. I fear this could be a problem since these products aren't necessarily budget-friendly. But, overall, I was very pleased with the results after using this shampoo and it definitely works!

2. Organic argan oil based conditioner. First things first, I absolutely love the lavender vanilla scent of this conditioner. It leaves my hair smelling wonderful. The first time that I used it, it didn't work as well as I thought it would. I think it's because I either didn't use enough or I failed to leave it in long enough. However, since that initial use, I have found that it does work well. It claims to help manage frizz and I can certainly see a difference. My husband even used some the other day while he was showering and mentioned how much he liked it (which is saying a lot coming from him).

3. Pure organic argan oil. Since I normally use leave-in conditioner, I decided that I would use this oil for that purpose as well since it stated it was for hair, skin and face. After washing my hair and towel drying it a little bit, I put a small amount of the argan oil into my hair and combed it through. Once my hair had dried, it was so smooth and very easy to comb through. It didn't leave my hair feeling greasy or weighed down like other products I've used in the past. I also used the oil on my skin a couple of times and I loved it. I can't stand how sticky I feel after putting on lotion and I usually use coconut oil, but this oil may just be my new go-to. I can definitely see myself purchasing this product in the future.

With all this being said, these products do work very well. The only problem I have is the pricing. But, then again, you get what you pay for. I can say that these products are worth the money, but I can't see myself buying more once I'm out since we're on a tight budget right now. You can purchase these products from the Pura d'or website and view all of their other products as well. If you hurry, you can save 10% on your entire order and receive a free 1oz bottle of argan oil by entering the coupon code "Valentines2015" at checkout (this code is only good for the month of February).

Disclaimer: This post is powered by Brandbacker and sponsored by Pura D'or.
I received samples free of charge in exchange for my honest feedback. All opinions are my own.

2.24.2015

The Ringling • Ca' d'Zan + Art Museum

I know I'm a little late, as I had mentioned last week that I would share about the other sections of The Ringling. But, here I am almost a week later (obviously I'm still working on my consistency). In my previous post, I focused only on the circus museum, but today I'm going to cover the mansion and the art museum. As I said before, it was a lot to take in. There was so much history packed into each place that we explored that day and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Let me briefly explain a bit of the history before I jump right into the photos. John Ringling was one of 5 brothers who owned and operated the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. In the 1920's, John was one of the richest men in America. He and his wife, Mable, purchased about 20 acres in Sarasota (along Sarasota Bay) back in 1911. In 1924, Dwight James Baum began construction on what is now one of the most beautiful pieces of Venetian Gothic architecture in the area. It took 2 years to complete. At 5 stories tall, this mansion — the Ca' d'Zan (or House of John) — holds 41 rooms and 15 bathrooms. Having the opportunity to walk the halls of this historic wonder was a real treat. We were also able to stroll around Mable's rose garden while we were exploring the grounds, which was really nice.

Both John and Mable shared a love for Italy and art (as if their choice in architectural style didn't give it away). While he traveled throughout Europe in search of acts to add to the circus, John began obtaining art and quickly built up a pretty large collection. It seemed the more that he collected, the more he fell in love with it all. He grew extremely passionate about art, both paintings and sculptures, learning everything that he could from books and dealers he came in contact with. After the mansion was completed, he built a museum that consisted of 21 galleries to showcase all of his precious pieces. John opened up the Museum of Art to the public in 1931, after his wife passed away two years prior. His hope was to help promote both education and appreciation for the art he had come to admire so dearly.

His collection was pretty impressive. I learned a lot while we were there and I certainly wouldn't mind visiting again in the future. If you're ever in the Sarasota area, make sure to add it to your list of must-sees. Now, let's get to the photos!


















And that concludes are trip! It was one for the books, for sure.

2.23.2015

Blackout Poetry No. 1



 L E S S O N S
"When her words found the broken door, it was too late. She went on, she tried. Still she said, I can do no more.
No wonder she felt smaller and rather sorrowful. There's always lessons to learn."


I remember the first time I stumbled onto blackout poetry a few weeks ago, I was rather intrigued. I knew from that very moment that it was something I'd like to try myself. I had never heard of this before, but I think it's brilliant. Taking pages from books, old or new, and forming poems from the words within that page. I plan to do more of these and I'd love to share them with you all. I made my first last night using a page from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

Whenever I decided that I wanted to give this a shot, I went to Goodwill in hopes of finding a book that I could use solely for this form of poetry, but I couldn't bare to mark through any of the books I found and actually ended up leaving with a handful to read instead. I, then, searched Google to see if I could find free PDF files of different books and I ended up discovering www.freeclassicebooks.com. They have thousands of books, including the works of Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde and many more. There's certainly enough material to keep me busy for awhile.

2.19.2015

The Ringling • Circus Museum


As I mentioned in a previous post, we've had our hearts set on visiting The Ringling. It's been on our list of local places to explore for over a year now. As of last Thursday we were able to mark it off of that list. Sarasota is about a 2 hour drive from us and it's actually where we honeymooned (what seems like) ages ago. And since my mama had never been, we invited her along too. I feel that we picked the perfect day to go because the weather was beautiful. It was a little chilly, but started warming up as the day progressed. There was so much to explore! From the circus museum to the rose garden, the mansion (or Ca' d'Zan) and the art museum — this trip did not disappoint. I took about a bazillion photos, which should go without saying. I had planned to share about everything all at once, but I decided that breaking this trip into two parts would be best for all of us. I'd hate for this to be a mile long and I think you'd agree.

I'm going to cover the circus museum in this post and I'll follow-up with the rose garden, Ca d'Zan, + the art museum tomorrow. The circus museum was created back in 1948 and was the first museum to document the history of the circus. It contains an array of memorabilia, including old advertisements, art prints, props, different wardrobe pieces and other circus equipment. It was a little overwhelming because there was so much history all wrapped up into one building. On top of all of that, there was a miniature replica of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. It's the largest miniature circus in the world. I wish I could have captured all of the tiny details that were put into it because I was impressed.